Northport is a town in Stevens County, Washington, United States. The population was 295 at the 2010 census. Take a look below for 20 interesting and fun facts about Northport, Washington, United States.
1. Northport began when railroad builder Daniel C. Corbin had agents purchase two wooded benches overlooking the Columbia River from the federal government in 1892.
2. Corbin had plans to extend his Spokane Falls and Northern railroad from Little Dalles, the town seven miles south, to the rich mining districts of southern British Columbia. Northport would provide a railhead for two railroads into Canada.
3. At this time, The Kootenai Steamship Company riverboats provided service from Little Dalles to Revelstoke, B. C.
4. After the Spokane Falls and Northern railroad reached Northport on Sept. 18, 1892, the riverboats ran from Northport to Revelstoke.
5. Northport became an international port of entry in 1895.
6. In March of 1896 a major fire occurred in the business district. At least 16 businesses were destroyed or damaged.
7. The north half of the Colville Indian Reservation, across the river from Northport, was opened to mining in February 1896.
8. Miners and prospectors flooded into the area and came into town to record their claims, get supplies and entertain themselves.
9. In 1890, ores rich in copper, gold and silver were discovered in Canada at Red Mountain, near the present city of Rossland, British Columbia.
10. Mines were developed and the ore was laboriously shipped out by wagon on a rude road 17 miles and ferried across the Columbia river to Northport and the Spokane Falls and Northern railway.
11. In January 1896, 170 four horse teams hauled ore down the road in one week.
12. The need for rail transportation was great and D. C. Corbin set about obtaining approvals and charters to fill the need. Construction began on the American side in May of 1896. A ferry was built at Northport to carry engines and cars across the Columbia River until a bridge could be built. The Columbia and Red Mountain railroad began service in December.
13. The bridge over the Columbia River was begun in early spring 1897 and completed in October. Northport was now a busy railway center boasting a two story 180 foot long passenger depot, the connection point of three railroads linking the supply center of Spokane to the mining districts of British Columbia.
14. The Red Mountain mines were now producing more ore than the smelter at Trail British Columbia could process. The mine owners, mostly Americans, wanted another smelter. Northport had limestone and rail connections for importing coke, coal and building materials and exporting the smelter matte to distant refineries.
15. D. C. Corbin donated the land on a bench overlooking the river north of town and construction began in August of 1897. The smelter began operations in January 1898. Two hundred men were employed which soon increased to almost six hundred.
16. On May 3,1898 another major fire reduced to ashes the entire business district and the red light district, more than three city blocks. The city was quickly rebuilt.
17. On June 23, 1898 an election was held to incorporate an area of the county with 1500 inhabitants as the “City of Northport”, and to elect a mayor and city council. Incorporation passed 228 for, 5 against. Now, instead of the county collecting over $5000 in local saloon fees, the new town could afford to improve the streets, build sidewalks, have a health officer, a fire department, a marshall and a jail.
18. The US immigration inspector was located at Northport in 1900.
19. At this time, the city was financed without property taxes but by licensing saloons, and by fines levied on gambling and courtesans.
20. In these first years, the smelter mostly treated the copper and gold ores from the LeRoi mine near Rossland, B. C., but in 1906 the LeRoi contracted the Trail, B. C. smelter to treat its ores and the Northport smelter gradually ceased operations, shipping the last matte in May 1911.